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DanRubin

Possible to import CDs to iTunes from a different mac on the network

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I've just started running a headless Mac Mini as a music server, which is co-located with my audio system. I want to use my Macbook Pro to rip my CD collection but have the music end up in the Mini's iTunes library. How can I do this?

 

Part 2: I'm doing screen sharing to look at the headless Mini, but it's not quite an ideal arrangement for creating playlists (it's a bit sluggish). Is there a way to create playlists on my MacBook Pro for the iTunes library that resides on the Mini? Presumably I would work "locally" (i.e., on the MBP) with the Mini's iTunes database but not with its underlying music files.

 

Thanks.

 

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Hi Dan - There are many ways to accomplish every task. One way to rip from a different Mac is to store you library file in a location both computers share. Then both instances of iTunes would open the same library file / iTunes database. It's not perfect but would accomplish your goal. Another is to rip to a shared location with the MacBook Pro, then use the add to library function on the Mini.

 

The first option of sharing the same iTunes library file / database would also accomplish your play list goals. Close iTunes on the Mini, open it from the MacBook Pro, create your lists or rip music, close iTunes on the MacBook Pro, open iTunes on the Mini and you are all set.

 

Let me know if this only raises more questions or you want to discuss it further. That's what this site is for :-)

 

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Thanks, Chris, very helpful. What is the process for setting up a shared location for both Macs to access, and could that shared location in fact be the Mini?

 

Looking at the Mini via screenshare from my MBP, I can see the shared iTunes library on my MBP. I can even open it and play songs from it. How do I copy those songs over to the Mini?

 

I'm sure there is duh! explanation for this, but..using the Remote app on my iPod Touch (nice!), I can access both iTunes libraries (Mini and MBP), but only the one on the Mini will actually play through my system. This is so even though the MBP library is shared and is playable through the system if I access it directly from the Mini's desktop. (Hope you followed that.)

 

Dan

 

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Hi Dan - Yes, you can setup the shared location right on the Mini itself. In fact you'll probably want to share the iTunes folder on the Mini for this specific situation. I'm not looking at my Mac at the moment, but I may be able to help through memory. In the System Preferences window is an icon called Sharing. You need to enable sharing of files or folders or something similar. Just like you did for screen sharing. Then I think (from memory here) you can select the folder(s) you want to share. Once this is done you'll be able to see the Mini and the shared folder from Finder on the MBP.

 

What you'll want to do then it access the iTunes library and music folder on the Mini from the MBP and not use the iTunes library or music folder on the MBP for this situation only. Following me? This way you'll be opening the same library from two computers and all ripped music will be in the library without additional steps. Only open the library by from computer at a time to avoid possible issues.

 

The Mini is the only computer connected to your system which is why the MBP won't play through the system. The library sharing feature of iTunes streams the music back to the computer requesting the music. There is no way to copy the music back from one Mac to the other through library sharing.

 

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The process is underway. I have an external drive connected via Firewire to the Mac Mini, which is set up as shareable to my MBP. On both the Mini and the MBP, I set the iTunes file location to the iTunes Music folder on the external drive. When I rip a CD on the MBP, it goes (wirelessly) to the external drive connected to the Mini. So far, so good. The "but" is that the newly ripped material doesn't show up in the music library on the Mini. What I have had to do is manually "Add to Library" for each newly ripped CD. Is there a better way? Is there at least a way to issue a command that will globally "synch" the actual music files with the library listing?

 

By the way, I'm keenly aware that I don't have a good grasp of how iTunes works. I feel fortunate that I've managed to get my scheme to work at all. And if this is as good as it gets, I'll be plenty happy.

 

Dan

 

 

 

 

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Hi Dan - This is possible. I'll start with some basics. Please take this in the spirit it's intended. Basic but needed info.

 

1. The library is like a database that keeps track of your music.

2. Your music does not reside in the library, rather the music folder location.

 

Now you're only sharing the music folder location. You need to share one library to accomplish your goal. Move one of the two libraries on to the external dive. The point iTunes to that location and you're good. One cavat though. Using the same library from more than one computer at the same tim can cause problems.

 

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